Small Business Law

From business formation to contracts, governance, and financing, we help both the sole entrepreneur and more established companies with their growing pains.

If you are just getting started and have not yet formed your business, or are simply considering the idea of becoming a business owner, it is worth a quick discussion about how to structure and capitalize the business. We should discuss choice of entity (corporation, LLC, etc.), equity and capitalization, licensure, basic trademark principles and employment issues, among other things, depending on the nature of the business.

Contracts are the lifeblood of any business, so it is crucial to make sure that your fundamental contracts (employment contracts, customer contracts, vendor contracts, etc.) accomplish your goals. You can count on us to deliver the results, give the advice, and provide the support you need to create a contract or to negotiate and craft a contract or to represent you when a contract is in dispute.

Mergers, acquisitions, business expansions, spin-offs, stock purchases, asset purchases, buy-outs, etc. There are a number of different ways to enter or exit a business or to build upon an existing business, and making sure that all of the details are covered can be the difference between a successful transaction and a disaster, and one size does not fit all. Let’s discuss what you hope to accomplish with your transaction and how we might get you there.

Are you thinking about purchasing a franchise? Is your existing franchised business up for renewal? Whether you need a full review of a potential franchise contract, or just a discussion of the legalities of owning a franchise business, we can assist you. If you have already begun the process, we can take a look at your agreement and help you with suggested changes to the agreement as written and can help you negotiate these changes with your franchisor. By allowing us to assist you before making the long-term commitment of becoming a franchisee or renewing your existing franchise agreement, we can attempt to help you save time and money by avoiding common issues found in franchise agreements before they become problems.

Looking to register a trademark? There is a wealth of services that make it easy and inexpensive to register a mark, but what they don’t tell you is that registration is the easy part, and registration, by itself, may offer very little protection against someone with a superior claim to your mark and offers no comfort that your mark does not infringe on someone else’s trademark rights, even when no mark has been registered. We can perform the research necessary to discover competing marks and analyze the strength of your proposed mark before we register it. We also assist our clients in defending or asserting their rights under federal or state trademark law.

Succession Planning is basically estate planning for the business that has more than one owner. Succession planning principles can be incorporated into an operating agreement for an LLC or a shareholders’ agreement for a corporation and should be prepared to address any situation that affects the operation or ownership of the business, including death, disability, divorce, bankruptcy, sale, termination and withdrawl.